Research & Development projects
Numerous interpretations of Scrum make it covered with a layers of something that does not always have the character of icing. Some people refer to Scrum as something heavy, complex, intricate. Meanwhile, at its base is an extraordinary lightness. To understand it, it is worth going back to the genesis of this framework, fundamental values, and those definitions that make it accessible and useful. And this was also the idea of its founders – that SCRUM should be primarily useful.
The genesis of this framework stems from the different quality of work provided by companies, being at a similar level in terms of technology. The factor influencing these differences are, of course, People. Scrum was supposed to organize the process, but on the other hand, to gain – in a positive sense – control over the elements that seem to be uncontrolled – people’s behaviours.
The second factor that led to the development of this framework was frustration with keeping to a long-term plan as earlier software delivery methods geared towards long-term planning. It is difficult to predict all the determinants that may arise, affecting work performance in the long run. Therefore, there was a call for sensible short-term planning.
Another reason was the need to build something to appeal and motivate people. A new approach that will be implemented and followed. Everyone in the management branch already knew good old managerial practices such as Lean or Kanban. The time had come for something that possessed their advantages but it should be free from their drawbacks and had the power of attraction.
Also, not without significance was previous scientific experience of Jeff Sutherland – co-founder of Scrum). It traces can be found in the empirical Scrum approach – perceiving the software development process as an experiment. Also, Jeff’s experience as a consultant influenced how Scrum was thought. Very likely that while being a consultant he experienced frustration at the lack of long-term impact on the process he successfully modified. Each consultant supports the organization only for a certain period of time, then the responsibility is taken over by others. Supposedly, he wanted to create a permanent mechanism that people would like to keep and maintain as valid and valuable.
There are many definitions, but one seems to describe best what Scrum is.
„Scrum is a lightweight framework that helps people, teams, and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems.”
Ken Schwaber & Jeff Sutherland
It says that it’s a lightweight framework. It’s not advisable to say that it is a methodology because this term refers to something heavy. The very process of software development is complicated enough that the frame in which it takes place is supposed to be light. The human mind has limited resources, e.g., attention, so we should save them. And this framework is for people, organizations, teams to generate value through adaptive solutions to complex problems.
There are 4 main SCRUM advantages. Scrum is simple, purposefully incomplete, and built upon by collective intelligence. Its rules guide relationships and interactions with no detailed instructions. Some would like to see it as a step-by-step guide. But it’s not – Scrum is open-ended and adaptable itself. Regardless of who the team members are, everyone is supposed to cooperate, share knowledge and work together to create a good atmosphere in the team.
It’s collaborative, collective process created by intelligent people.
Scrum is universal and can be used almost in every area. It is incomplete and created for people to adapt it to their needs. However, that doesn’t mean it has no rules.
Five Scrum values cover what every team should know about collaboration as follows:
The three pillars of Scrum ensure continuous improvement of the process:
The Scrum Events include Sprint itself, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective.
This what often arouses emotions is time-box. Many ask: Is it a must? Does it not contradict Scrum’s flexibility? Certain rules must be rigid to indicate what is effective and what is not. If it turns out that something takes more time than expected by the framework, we should think about what influences it, because maybe we are doing something ineffectively. We can say that this is an ‘average time-box’ that helps us compare ourselves to how other teams work, avoid unnecessarily extension ineffective actions.
Scrum defines three roles in the project, each assigned responsibility for the process to run effectively.
Since Scrum does not mention Project Managers, does it mean there is no place for them?
I think that the term Project Manager does not appear in this framework because it is associated with baggage of long-term planning experience. Scrum does not deny the existence of Project Managers. On the contrary, it says that people who play their roles in Scrum should effectively cooperate with everyone involved in the project.
We can ask ourselves: Does Scrum work or not? Some say it doesn’t, and they don’t want to use it anymore. Others say it works, but sit on their hands and wait.
Neither of these attitudes is good since Scrum is not a destination but a journey. A constant grow according its rules. The result proved by many teams that mastered this framework and used it with maturity. Regardless of whether in your opinion it works or not, I would strongly recommend you considering:
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